Pampa nature: “The land is the most beautiful and gentle place I have ever thought of, nobody can get tired of looking at the land and at its beauty.” Pedro Lopez de Souza
“That was a Homeric course, undoubtedly the largest that God made -perhaps He could not possibly have made a better, even had He tried-…” R. Cunninghame Graham
What it is Pampa nature
The Quechua word pampa stands for space, a landscape of flat surface almost no trees. This is how the Argentines call the massive flat surface located in the center of the country, being one of the largest and most fertile plains in the world.
Is it called also the “sea of grass”, a landscape without end that Borges mention as “the only place on earth where God can roam at large”.
All grass and sky, and sky and grass, and still more sky and grass, the pampa stretched from the pajonales (scrubland) on the western bank of the Paraná right to the stony plain of Uspallata, a thousand miles away.
Through all this ocean of tall grass, green in the spring, then yellow, and in the autumn brown as an old boot, the general characteristics were the same.
Animals of the pampa nature:
A ceaseless wind raffled it all and stirred its waves of grass, Innumerable flocks and herds enamelled it, and bands of ostriches (“Mirth of the Desert”, as the gauchos called them) and herds of palish.yellow deer stood on the tops of the cuchillas and watched you as you galloped past.
Down in the south, the Patagonian hare, mataco, and the quirquincho scudded away or burrowed in the earth. Towards the middle region of this great galloping ground, the greatest that God made, -perhaps
He could not possibly made a better, even had He tried- great armadillos and iguanas showed themselves, and in the north, around the deep metallic toned islands of hard-wood montes, flocks of macaws –red, yellow, and bright blue- floated like butterflies.
Up in the north, anteaters and tapirs wandered, looking as if they had escaped from out the Ark.
Over the whole extend of the pampa nature, the teru-teru hovered, screamed, whistled, and circled just above your horse´s head. From every monte and from every maize field flew chattering flocks of parakeets.
Tigers and pumas inhabited the woods. In all the rivers nutrias and carpinchos with their great red teeth, swam whit their heads awash, laid flat upon the stream, just like a seal at sea.
Viscachas burrowed, and wise, solemn little owls sat at the entrance of their burrows making pretending to guard them, as does a sentinel before a palace door.
Birds in the Pampa
Birds, from the ostrich down to the little black and white viudita, swarmed in their millions. Vultures and crows hung almost out of sight specks, and yet, when a tired animal was left to die, appeared as if by magic and waited, just as an heir waits with resigned impatience for a rich uncle`s death.
Along the streams the pink flamingoes fished, or rising in the sun looked like a flock which had strayed out of some old picture, lovely and yet unnatural to eyes accustomed to see birds, all grey or brown, flying through air as thick as blotting paper.
R. Cunninghame Graham, extracts from South America Sketches
For more information about the Pampa Nature visit in Spanish: Areco chat